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What’s left of Henrietta Lacks?

I don’t know where I heard of her first: a woman whose cells are bred in culture dishes in labs all over the world; a woman whose cells were so prolific that there is more of her now, in terms of biomass, then there ever was when she was alive.

It seems to me that she is one of the saints who multiplied in reliquaries after their death, to produce, as Ian Paisley’s website reminds us (in an essay called ‘The Errors of Rome’), the many prepuces of the infant Jesus, and the variously coloured hair of His madly trichogenous mother. Perhaps, in these days of cloning, or in future days of cloning, we will look to the evangelical Protestants and say that they were right all along: no miracles please, scientific or otherwise, no icons, and a Just Say No approach to reproduction. Read More

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